by HELEN GEIB
The coming attractions list is awfully thin this month. Even for a January. We’re really seeing the effects of Hollywood’s reduced output levels now, with only seven movies set to go into wide release.
(Seven or so. My source as always is the list at boxofficemojo.com, but I’m dubious as to whether The Way Back is really going to open wide. I certainly hope it does as there’s no way I’m seeing the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman supposed romantic comedy No Strings Attached, whether it has multiplex competition or not.)
Hollywood evidently- and probably rightly- figures the audience for dramas will be busy catching up with the premiere year-end releases, and the kids are back in school: the lineup is genre-driven and family unfriendly. To start things off, the fantasy-actioner Season of the Witch starring Nicolas Cage opens tomorrow to no competition.
Whoever produced The Dilemma is no doubt hoping to repeat the box office success of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the Kevin James film that opened in January and went on to make an astonishing amount of money; based on the preview, the movie is actually about the character played by Vince Vaughn.
The most promising title is The Green Hornet, if only because it was directed by Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep, Be Kind Rewind). Seth Rogen stars, with Jay Chou as Kato.
The month ends with a remake- The Mechanic– and the not a remake, but incredibly derivative latest entry in the recent spate of exorcism movies The Rite. I’m guessing the new Mechanic won’t end the same way the original did. Much too ’70s. The Rite will presumably end like exorcism movies usually end.
Full Release Schedule: (links lead to the films’ IMDb pages)
January 7– Season of the Witch